The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


November 15, 2012

Freshman guard nets 27 as Cougars get first win

CLINTON — Xzavion Jones didn’t let it bother him when his shots weren’t going in early in the men’s basketball season. Like many scorers, he and his coaches knew the shots would fall eventually.

“I just kept shooting with confidence,” he said.

His shooting was on target Wednesday night, and many of his shots came at crucial times, too. Jones, a freshman guard from Davenport North, led all scorers with 27 points to lead Clinton Community College past the St. Ambrose junior varsity 72-51 at W.J. Yourd Gymnasium. The Cougars’ trio of Jones, James Randolph (14 points) and Charles Pemberton (14) outscored the Bees 55-51 in CC’s first win in four outings.

“It gets the monkey off our backs,” CCC coach Joe Shovlain said. “We’ve played prettier. I told the guys it’s a win, and we’ve got to learn how to win. It was one of those wins where — nothing against the team we played — but we played to their level a lot.”

Jones, though, seemed to play at a higher level than anyone else on the court.

“They were critical points,” Shovlain said of Jones’ baskets. “That’s why we moved him into the starting lineup. We think he can score, and you’ve got to have scorers in the lineup.”

Jones dropped in back-to-back 3-pointers — the first from the right side, the second from the left — over a 23-second span for a 6-2 lead after St. Ambrose had gotten two free throws by Willie Lipsey (13 points).

“We were looking for a 3-pointer,” Jones said. “I got nice screens from the big men and just had to take it and make it.”

Eric Adkins, who led the Bees with 16 points, answered with a 3-pointer to cut the gap to 6-5, but the Cougars never relinquished their lead.

Pemberton scored off an inside feed to make it 8-5, then sophomores Virshaun Grant and Richard Hurt turned turnovers into layups to stretch the lead to 12-7.

St. Ambrose made a few runs after that, but almost every time, Jones was there to thwart the comeback.

The Bees pulled within 14-13, but when they had the chance to go ahead on their next possession, Jones made a steal and layup with 11:55 left in the first half.

“I was trying to pressure the ball,” Jones said. “Once I saw I could make a play, I gambled a bit, and it came through for me.”

St. Ambrose countered with a free throw from Cullen Foulks to pull within 16-14, but B.J. Bostic, a freshman from Prince of Peace, stuck in a 3-pointer at the other end to make it 19-14.

“BJ gave us a spark off the bench,” Shovlain said.

A 3-pointer by SAU cut the lead to 19-17, then the Cougars scored 10 straight to go up 29-17 with 5:51 left in the half. Jones scored twice in the run on transition layups — one off a steal and the other on a long outlet pass from Pemberton.

“I think we played our defense a lot better tonight,” Jones said. “That’s what we had struggled on.”

The Cougars led 33-25 at halftime, then built the advantage to double-digit margins for most of the second half.

St. Ambrose did close within 42-38 when Lipsey scored a pair of baskets to start an 8-0 run, but the Cougars responded with a free throw from BeeJay Caleb, a feed from Caleb down low to Pemberton for a basket and a three-point play by Jones on a layup and free throw with 11:09 left for a 48-38 lead.

The Bees cut the gap to single digits again moments later, but Jones again was fouled as he converted a transition layup. The free throw made it 52-41, and the Bees never got closer than 10 after that. Jones finished with four 3-point baskets and three three-point plays.

“Our goal was to win by 20 or more and hold them to under 50,” Shovlain said, satisfied that his team almost hit both goals.

The Cougars play twice more before Thanksgiving. They travel to Moline, Ill., to face Black Hawk at 6:30 p.m. Friday, then return to Yourd Gymnasium to take on Iowa Lakes at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“They’re both good teams,” Shovlain said. “We’ll have to play well to win, no doubt, but both are winnable games.”

Getting that first win Wednesday can do nothing but help, Jones said.

“It was really important (to beat SAU),” he said. “It gives us a lot of motivation to go in to these next games and hope to get more wins.”


ST. AMBROSE — Geordon Hetherton 1 0-0 2, Willie Lipsey 4 4-4 13, Eric Adkins 6 0-0 16, Zach Jadzak 0 2-2 2, Adam Koncel 0 0-0 0, Joey McEachern 0 0-0 0, Matt Neubauer 0 0-0 0, Cullen Foulks 0 1-2 1, Nick Ollero 0 0-0 0, David Sherman 0 0-0 0, Jelani Yancey 2 0-0 4, Zach Lundquist 1 0-0 3, Fabian Virgies 1 0-0 2, Richie Finger 4 0-0 8, Kyle Dennison 0 0-0 0, Zach Coiner 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 7-8 51.

CLINTON CC (1-3) — Virshaun Grant 1 0-0 2, Richard Hurt 4 0-0 8, Xzavion Jones 10 3-3 27, James Randolph 3 8-10 14, Charles Pemberton 6 2-2 14, Dominique Helgemo 0 0-0 0, Kimani Stevens 0 0-0 0, BJ Bostic 1 0-0 3, Dane Barun 1 0-0 2, BeeJay Caleb 0 2-4 2. Totals 26 15-19 72.

Halftime — Clinton 33, St. Ambrose 25. 3-point goals — St. Ambrose 6 (Adkins 4, Lipsey, Lundquist); Clinton 5 (Jones 4, Bostic). Total fouls — St. Ambrose 14, Clinton 10. Fouled out — None.

Officials — Tony Lasek, Steve Langhauser, Fritz Larsen.

Text Only
  • Blake Holovach Holovach converting back to a starting pitcher

    When Blake Holovach takes the mound tonight along the Mississippi River in Davenport, it’ll be in the first inning, which he wasn’t accustomed to in the past.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Senior game RVC North claims win

    Much like Northeast softball pitcher Addie Oberman did on Monday night for the River Valley Conference North squad, Tevin Stoecker came in to pitch in relief, and quieted the opposition.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • LumberKings get first win in a week

    Bring out the rally...opossum?

    After a delay that involved the opossum making itself at home at Modern Woodmen Park, the LumberKings (14-24, 44-62) found a new rally animal to drive its first win in a week. It took a ninth inning foul out sacrifice fly by left fielder Chantz Mack to defeat the hometown Quad Cities River Bandits 6-5.

    The win snapped a six game losing streak for Clinton and a four game winning streak for Quad Cities.

    July 31, 2014

  • David Johnson Clinton grad, NDSU picked to lead MVC

     David Johnson, the former Clinton High standout now entering his senior season at the University of Northern Iowa, was named to the preseason All-Missouri Valley Football Conference first team that was announced Tuesday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thomas Smith Clinton's Smith to join Leathernecks

    Coming off a junior year in which he missed part of the football season because of injury, Clinton’s Thomas Smith figured he’d have to impress college recruiters with a big senior season for the River Kings.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • L'Kings offensive drought continues

    Shutout for the second time in two nights Saturday in a 2-0 loss to South Bend, the Clinton LumberKings' offense was limited again Sunday, managing just one run in a 4-1 Midwest League baseball loss to the Silver Hawks at Ashford University Field.

    July 28, 2014

  • 7-28-14 1B-Photo, Hall of Fame Thomas, Maddux enter Hall of Fame COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Frank Thomas choked back tears, Joe Torre apologized for leaving people out of his speech and Tony La Russa said he felt uneasy.Being enshrined in the Hall of Fame can have those effects, even on the greats.Thomas, pitchers T

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Interest in Ernst rises as his game does, too

    Brady Ernst is having a summer to remember.
    The rising River King senior is spending the summer playing for the Iowa Barnstormers traveling basketball team. This weekend they're playing in the Fab48 tournament in Las Vegas.

    July 26, 2014

  • Jones leaves UNO program

    Jalen Jones is done with basketball — for now, anyway.
    The 6-foot-5 Clinton High grad who had committed to play for Nebraska-Omaha, has left the program, and according to his Facebook page, has enrolled at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids.
    The enrollment office at the community college confirmed that Jones was registered for classes this fall at Kirkwood. Kirkwood coach Bryan Petersen, a Clinton High graduate, declined to comment and gave no indication that Jones would play basketball for the Eagles this winter.
    "College basketball isn't for everybody," Clinton coach Nick Lawrence said. "A little time away might do him some good."
    Jones came home to Clinton after spending just a few days with the Mavericks, and enrolled to Kirkwood shortly thereafter.
    Jones, the Herald's Player of the Year, averaged 19 points a game for the River Kings in his senior season and finished with the second-most rebounds with 160.
    He shot 41 percent on the floor and 28 percent from 3-point territory. He committed to Omaha before last season started in October.

    July 26, 2014

  • Hawkeyes to offer student tickets to public

    Iowa athletic director Gary Barta says the Hawkeyes will make any unsold student football tickets available to the general public as well on Aug. 1.

    July 25, 2014

High School Sports